By Max Hrenda
In her 31 years of teaching at Roan Mountain, Cheri Miller wanted to focus on more than just test scores.
“Education is sort of a mission for me,” Miller said. “It gives me the opportunity to help students think outside the box, as far as their futures go.”
For Miller, that mission is made easier by the closeness of the Roan Mountain community.
“Because Cloudland High is a small school, it feels a lot like a family instead of just a place to work,” Miller said.
Family has always been among Miller’s higher priorities.
Originally from Jonesborough, Miller and her husband, Jim, wanted to find a community that was fit to raise their children in.
“One of our goals as a family was to live in the mountains,” Miller said. “We wanted to build our own house, and raise our children in a nice, wholesome environment. The Hampton/Roan Mountain area exemplifies that.”
Miller began her teaching career at Cloudland Elementary in 1982, then, three years later, relocated to Cloudland High School to teach regular and honors English courses.
During that time, however, she would devote her free time to creating an activity that all students could take part in.
“About 20 years ago, there were some students who didn’t have a niche, and there was no extracurricular activity for them,” Miller said. “I sort of created my own job. After school, I coached drama and produced plays.”